Situated 150km off the coast of Africa, Gran Canaria offers a delicious choice of more than 80 stretches of white sand, pebble and black volcanic beaches with glittering turquoise waters so stunning that it lays claim to many of the top Canary Island beaches.
You’ll discover beautiful beaches in Gran Canaria to suit very activity and mood, from family-friendly sands patrolled by lifeguards enabling you to let your kids splash around without any worries, to romantic secluded coves, urban beaches within striking distance of chic shops and cool restaurants and bars, to watersports hubs and party beaches where DJs play summertime tunes on the sands.
There’s another good reason to the love the best beaches in the Canary Islands – the sun is pretty much always shining, with temperatures between 19º and 25º year-round. Question is which ones will wow you the most? To whet your appetite, check out our round up of ten of the most beautiful beaches – and book a hotel like Occidental Margaritas in Gran Canaria for summer 2018…
Playa de Mogán
Fancy sitting on the dock of a bay, watching boat bob and the world go by? Located in the charming resort of Puerto de Mogán, its eponymous golden sand beach runs adjacent to a fabulous marina and port. Here, you can enjoy a spot of fishing or lounge on a sunbed. There’s also canoes and pedaloes for hire and some great beach bars.
If you love city beaches, you’ll simply adore Las Canteras, which is widely regarded as one of Europe’s best urban beaches. Situated bang in the centre of the island’s capital, Las Palmas, here you’ll find 3.5km of golden sands stretching around a beautiful bay and a wealth of sporty and hedonistic delights.
As the entire beach is a marine reserve, Las Canteras is the island’s top hotspot for snorkelling and whether you plan to dive into the calm waters or flop on the sand the sheltered bay ensures windless weather practically all year. You’ll find a great choice of bars and restaurants on and close to the sands, and the top haunts of the city centre are within easy reach.
If Amadores Beach with its soft white powder sands reminiscent of the Caribbean strikes you as looking palpably different from its neighbours, there’s a good reason why – it’s beautiful but man-made. Situated near Puerto Rico, you can get here via the clifftop walks that run from Puerto Rica beach to the marina. This is also a great spot for dinner as there’s a fabulous choice of restaurants and bars.
If you prefer your beach off the beaten tourist track and seek a thoroughly authentic Canarian beach experience, simply follow the locals to their favourite playground by the sea. Guayedra beach is a pristine mix of pebbles and black volcanic sand, located in a lush valley studded with palm trees on the northern coast.
Famous for its vast, undulating dunes, Las Maspalomas is picture perfect – in fact, images of its rolling landscape often grace the covers of travel guide books and tourism ads for Gran Canaria. Along with its adjoining sister beach of Playa del Ingles, it stretches more than 6km and its calm, shallow waters make it a top choice for swimming and snorkelling. The sand dunes are protected ecosystems but you can explore them by following the designated and signposted walking routes. To avoid any surprises, be aware that there is a famous section of sand for nudists located amongst the biggest sand dunes in the middle of this beach.
Looking for a peaceful hotspot to lay your towel far from the madding crowds? Aguadulce is a little peach and a stretch of golden rather than black volcanic sands. Situated on the east coast of the island it’s generally sparsely populated making this a good choice for those who want to chill out with a book or snooze on the sand.
But if an ‘away from it all’ beach that also feeds your thirst for active pursuits is what you’re after, then Güigüí Beach, the island’s most unspoilt and remote beach is guaranteed to impress you the most. And when we say remote we’re not exaggerating – you’ll have to be up for a three-hour hike through a countryside path to get here – or, if that sounds like hard work, jump on one of the boat tours that run from Puerto Rico.
Sardina del Norte
Who’s up for scuba? If diving is your big passion, make your way to this stunning golden sand beach – and Gran Canaria’s best diving site – situated in a pretty little fishing village on the north-west coast. Sun-splashed throughout the year, Sardina del Norte is also blessed with great little restaurants serving up freshly-caught and grilled sardines.
Fancy a bit of Scandi drama? Head to this golden sand beach on the south of the island and you’ll discover a hotspot favoured by Scandinavian tourists that’s largely unknown to Brits. You’ll soon see the attraction: it’s small yet perfectly ‘styled’ with charming restaurants dotted along a pretty promenade.
If glam factor is top of your wishlist, then come and rub shoulders with the beautiful people at the exclusive Pasita Blanco beach, which can only be accessed from within the chic yacht-filled marina of the same name. If you own a gin palace or luxury home in the marina complex, you can drive in – if not, then you’ll have to make a not-so-swish entrance by bus to the main gate. Its exclusivity means this beach rarely gets busy and as an added bonus, the conditions for snorkeling here are excellent.